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9/16/14 - BP Alaska announces 275 layoffs, 17% of its work force

BP Alaska announces layoffs of 275 employees

Weeks after Alaskans narrowly defeated a measure to increase oil taxes, BP Alaska has announced it plans to cut its workforce by 17% by early next year. The oil company says the layoffs of 275 staff are due to the sale of four North Slope assets to Hillcorp. Another 200 BP employees are being transferred to Hillcorp. The changes come just weeks after Alaskans narrowly voted to keep a capped tax rate. BP contributed nearly $4 million to defeat the referendum. The BP layoffs also follow Exxon forecasts of reduced oil production in Alaska. Gov. Sean Parnell, who advocated to keep the oil tax cuts Legislators adopted in 2012, says he's disappointed in the BP decision.

Cleanup underway after flooding in Fairbanks due to heavy rain

Recent heavy rain has raised surface and groundwater levels throughout the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Underground fuel tanks and home sewage systems are at risk. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is working to clean up petroleum contamination. The agency is advising Fairbanks residents that the increased moisture can cause mold growth, structural damage, and food contamination.

Unemployment benefits come with new requirements to report efforts to find work

To get unemployment benefits, beginning on Sunday, jobless Alaskans will need to report on their efforts to find work.